Woman first to ski alone across Antarctica
Felicity Aston, 33, spent 59 days skiing across Antarctica.
January 23rd, 2012
11:36 AM ET

Woman first to ski alone across Antarctica

If you'd become the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone, what's the first thing you'd want on completion of your 59-day, 1,055-mile journey?

A glass of red wine and a hot shower sounded fine to British explorer Felicity Aston, who accomplished the feat Sunday.

Aston, 33, was waiting Monday morning at  Hercules Inlet, Antarctica, after one last night in the tent that that had protected her from the continent's harsh elements since she began her trek on November 25.

Bad weather had prevented her pickup by a Hercules C-130 plane on Sunday, but Monday was "a lovely day," she tweeted. She said she was making weather reports every hour to clear the way for the plane to come.

Aston's trek took her from the Ross Ice Shelf across the Transantarctic Mountains to the South Pole to her destination on the Ronne Ice Shelf on the opposite coast of the continent. She had only one day of rest during her journey, at the pole itself.

“I cannot express how happy I am to have finally made it!," she said of when she completed the journey, according to her sponsor, Kaspersky Lab.

View the path Aston took as well as her podcast dispatches along the route

"The Kaspersky ONE Transantarctic Expedition represents a culmination of everything I experienced and learned before on other challenging journeys. I prepared for it physically and mentally for a very long time. And finally here I am having reached my final destination, having got through some rather severe conditions, but most importantly of all having overcome my own fear," Aston said in the release.

Kaspersky Lab is Europe's largest producer of antivirus software.

Aston's tweets from her journey show she endured conditions from whiteouts to baking-hot sunshine.

Among the hardships she endured during her trips: losing a toenail, temperatures approaching -40 degrees Celsius, ripped clothing (She tweeted she had some sewing to do. How does one work a needle and thread at 40 below?), laundry problems ("Tried to do some laundry in the tent this evening. Didn't go well. I now have frozen knickers," she tweeted on December 6), loneliness ("Yesterday was the first day I didnt burst into tears at any point," she tweeted 16 days in), and a personal transformation of sorts.

That weight loss came even though she was consuming about 5,000 calories a day.

Her supplies were replenished by air twice during the trip.

But with the hardships, her awe and appreciation of Antarctica always came through.

And later in the trip:

And on January 9:

Aston used her trip to raise money for the British Antarctic Monument Trust. The trust wants to build a monument in the Falkland Islands "to commemorate those killed in Antarctica while in pursuit of science," according to her page on JustGiving.com. She'd reached 57% of her goal of 1,700 British pounds ($2,650) on Monday.

Aston's Antarctic journey was the latest in 10 years of adventures.

According to her website, she has "raced in the Canadian Arctic, led a team of women across the inland ice of Greenland, led a record-making international team to the South Pole, searched for meteorite craters in Quebec, skied along a frozen river in Siberia, traversed the winter ice of Lake Baikal, completed the infamous Marathon Des Sables across the Moroccan Sahara and spent three years living and working in the Antarctic."

No word Monday on what's next.

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Filed under: Antarctica • United Kingdom • World
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    Congratulations to Felicity Aston on her heroic accomplishment.
    Perhaps, in her surprising loss of weight, the USA might find insight into its obesity problem.

    January 23, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO ©

    It's summer there. Do it in winter and I'll be impressed.

    January 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      Forgot the sarcasm font. Please don't hate me.

      January 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet WK

      If you'd ever been there you'd know that it is quite a fete to accomplish in the Antarctic "summer" as well!

      January 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris Sisler

      Well I am IMPRESSED, good for you! – GRATS

      January 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. **cosmicVox *

    ... perfect way to deal with man troubles ...

    January 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    I think she is a nut, Just like those x – game participants!

    January 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    Exactly my first thought–send them skiing across Antarctica–but I let it go with the implication of exercise.

    January 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. keithB

    so so did this to raise $2650 for a monument yet this trip must of cost much more.

    January 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JR

    This was one of those headlines you read and you're genuinely surprised such a thing is even possible. Impressive! Congratulations!

    January 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Morgan Freeman

    And they will ski just as they have done for centuries, ever since the women cross country skiers decided to stay, to live and love in the harshest place on Earth.

    January 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    "A nut?"
    Anybody who does anything extraordinary these days is considered "a nut."
    You know–extraordinary–stuff like skiing across Antarctica, actually graduating from college, etc.

    January 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bill

    Day 1, Cold and Icy. Day 2, Cold and Icy. Day 3, Very Cold and Icy. Day 4 why did I do this again?

    January 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BOMBO ©

    I'm a nut too. I live in Edmonton.

    January 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Been There Done That

    How did she keep her phone charged to do those updates for so long? Imagine if Amelia Earhart had a communication method like this. Perhaps she could have let people know where she was.

    January 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Funk13

    inspirational

    January 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. The Flamingo Kid

    Great woman!!!!!!

    January 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kaneda

    That is not hard! global warming, there is no more snow there anymore.. 🙂

    January 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
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